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Durant extends scoring streak

NEW YORK (AFP) — Kevin Durant extended his 25-point scoring streak with a triple-double performance as the Brooklyn Nets launched Jacque Vaughn’s reign as head coach with a 112-85 rout of the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association.

Durant gave Brooklyn’s fans some respite from recent off-court drama with a superb performance, scoring 29 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a wire-to-wire victory at the Barclays Center.

The 34-year-old forward has now scored at least 25 points in each of Brooklyn’s 12 games since the start of the season — the longest streak since Michael Jordan opened the 1988-1989 campaign with 16 games scoring 25 points or more per game.

More significantly, Durant’s latest dominant performance ensured a smooth start to Vaughn’s tenure as head coach.

Vaughn took over as interim coach last week after the sacking of Steve Nash but was only confirmed as the permanent replacement earlier on Wednesday.

“I just liked how we were all on the same page,” Durant told ESPN after the win.

“I’m only as good as my teammates so them setting me up, helping me out on defense, helping me rebound — it’s a team effort helping to get me going.”

Durant was also happy to have helped deliver a win for Vaughn that saw the Nets improve to 5-7.

“He’s been around this group for a while, been around this organization for a while, so he understands us,” Durant said.

As well as the dismissal of Nash last week, the Nets have also been buffeted by controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving, who was suspended by the club last week after posting a link to an anti-Semitic film on his social media.

In other games, the Los Angeles Lakers’ miserable season continued with a 114-101 defeat to city rivals the Clippers that saw LeBron James hobble off with an apparent injury.

James, who finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists, left the court with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

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